WCO calls on international Customs community to expedite humanitarian assistance for Haiti

18 January 2010

Brussels, 18 January 2010

WCO calls on international Customs community to expedite humanitarian assistance for Haiti

The World Customs Organziation (WCO) has called on Customs authorities around the world to expedite humanitarian assistance for Haiti following the devastating earthquake which hit the country on 12 January 2010.

In the event of a natural disaster (for example, an earthquake) and similar catastrophes (for example, a burst dam), aid to those affected by such catastrophes obviously needs to be delivered and moved across international boundaries efficiently and expeditiously.

The effectiveness of humanitarian assistance is dependent to a large extent on the speed with which it can be provided. It is therefore imperative that Customs administrations be as facilitative as possible and be prepared to clear goods rapidly that are being forwarded as aid.

According to UN spokespersons, the Haiti earthquake is the worst disaster they have ever confronted.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya said, “I have issued this call as a means of galvanising Customs authorities to do all they possibly can to ensure that the clearance of relief consignments, at any stage of their transportation, be it at exportation, during transit or at importation is done expeditiously as Haiti needs our help and it needs it now.”

The Secretary General also made an appeal for people to respond generously to requests for funds that will assist on-going recovery efforts in Haiti which according to aid agencies cannot be measured in weeks or months but rather in years.

Three WCO instruments play a key role in facilitating the movement of relief consignments: the Revised Kyoto Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures; the Istanbul Convention on temporary admission; and the Recommendation of the Customs Co-operation Council to expedite the forwarding of relief consignments in the event of disaster.

Clique aqui para obter a versão portuguesa.

World Customs Organization
• Guidelines for Customs administrations on humanitarian assistance and emergency measures [es]